INTERNET APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
MID MARKET ERP DEVELOPMENT
by Derek Du
Hybrid always wins?
From this comparison, it appears using a hybrid approach is always the right approach, unless the app to be developed relies heavily on performance, such as a graphic game. However, just like everything else in the universe, there are trade-offs. The extra flexibility and reusability are at the cost of efficiency and effectiveness:
Each platform has its own user experience guidelines as the best practice to develop a platform-specific user experience, and users are used to them. Hybrid apps have a unified appearance and work flow across all platforms, which would sometimes frustrate users who are not familiar with the user interface presented.
Here are a few styling differences:
iOS has its smooth and detail-oriented built-in animations
Windows phone has its large font and menu
Android allows sharing application data with every app installed on the same device
To list a few work flow differences:
iOS uses on-screen touch buttons to go back, Android and Windows phones use the on-device back button.
Windows phone apps frequently utilize horizontal tabs. When a tab is clicked, the page horizontally scrolls to the next page. But iOS and Android do not use this UI element.
Each platform has its unique features, which can’t be utilized through hybrid apps. For example:
Android has widgets
WP has live tiles
Performance seems to be not that critical for most people, since the hardware becomes more and more powerful each day. However, debugging could be a nightmare for hybrid developers – what if an error is caused by the codes generated by the packaging software? Without the advanced debugging tools provided for native apps, and the knowledge of how the packaging tool works, will certainly turn a trivial error into a huge roadblock.
There are many factors to be considered when making the decision – flexibility, time to market, cost, performance, etc. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to it. However, if enough resources are available, I will go for the native app for sure. An optimized user experience is a must for an app to be successful. Otherwise, using a hybrid approach is an alternative that can reduce time-to-market and cost and maximize flexibility and reach.
The ups and downs of hybrid mobile app development
Whitepaper mobile developer guidance by Kendo UI